Whatever chance Jason Giambi had of making the Indians’ active roster out of spring training is gone now, as the veteran designated hitter suffered a broken rib from being hit by a pitch Friday.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Giambi is expected to be sidelined for 3-4 weeks and he was already no sure thing to make the team on a minor-league contract, although this does provide an opportunity for the Indians to simply place him on the disabled list and put off a 25-man roster decision until later.
Giambi is extremely popular in the Indians’ clubhouse and has been viewed as sort of a player/coach for a while now, but he hit just .183 with a .653 OPS in 71 games last season and wasn’t much better in 2012.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.